Wednesday, September 28, 2011

One Last Summer Meal from the Garden

This picture is a harvest from 2 weeks ago - tons of squash, tomatoes (not all pictured), even small bell peppers! This Saturday it will officially be October and I will admit that I'm officially tired of zucchini and squash. Thank goodness, they - along with almost all of the other plants in the garden - appear to be winding down for the season.
With the last of the tomatoes, we enjoyed a fresh salsa for dinner tonight, along with a tiny baby melon:

The melons may be tiny because they went in very late compared with the rest of the things we planted this year, in our attempt to grow as much of our own food as possible. Now, the freezer is full of bags of frozen tomatoes. Once the pumpkins finish turning orange (soon, I hope!), the garden we planted over at my parents' property will be ready to put to rest for the winter.

Now that the experiment is coming to an end, I am full of reflections on what grew well and what didn't.

Delikatesse cucumber
Buttercrunch lettuce (but matured just as the weather got hot so it nearly all bolted)
Tom Thumb lettuce (same)
New England Pie pumpkins (took over the garden)
Danver’s Half Long carrots (but tasted like dirt - how do you grow sweet carrots?)
Sugar Ann snap peas (Some grew even when it got hot)
Dill - so easy to grow
Ruby Red swiss chard (But aphids and cucumber beetles have made it inedible since summer hit - how sad!)

Not so great:
Black Valentine Bush Beans
Mache (corn salad)
America spinach

Major fail (to germinate):
Mountain Sweet Yellow watermelon
Yarrow, Hyssop

Challenges this year included weeds, insect pests, and bad weather back in April. I have an enormous appreciation for farmers, especially those who find methods to do it organically. As for me, I have all sorts of ideas for next year, including starting my own seeds at home, doing raised beds at our new place and space-consuming crops at my parent's plot, and using companion plants to attract good insects and detract bad ones.

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